The inaugural Singapore Early Childhood Education Symposium (Chinese) on Teaching and Learning, held on 9th September 2017, was an eye opener for many as it offered networking opportunities for practitioners to share their experience, and also built our collective knowledge base. Approximately 300 early education professionals gathered at the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) for a full day of content tailored to the latest developments in the designing, and managing of learning environments for early childhood education.
Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, SUSS president, started the day’s activities by giving recognition to the hard work of the teachers and their commitment to continually improve themselves professionally. Following that, guest–of-honour, Ms Low Yen Ling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary (Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry), connected with the audience through her candid and engaging speech which actively engaged the participation of the audience, and concluded the opening segment on a high note.
Addressing the idea of plurality in teaching and learning through the theme, Multi-Perspectives, Diverse Contexts, Changing Landscape, the symposium’s four invited speakers generously shared their views and experiences on teaching and learning within the changing landscape of Chinese early childhood education in the region. Prof Hong Xiu-min began with a macro-view on how early education policies and management have changed over the last two decades, and how they have influenced contextual shifts in funding, teaching and learning, as well as teacher training. The morning session concluded with Prof Jiang Yong providing a thought-provoking discussion on the benchmarks and criteria for quality professional development.
While the first two speakers focused more on policy and industry standard benchmarking, the two speakers in the afternoon session provided practical yet innovative ideas, and advice on teaching and practice. Mr Cheah Eng Khoon engaged the participants through an enthusiastic account of his conviction in quality education and care for children which translated into enriching programmes in his centres, and his tireless advocacy for the field in Malaysia. Linking knowledge with theory-practice, Ms Liao Jui-lin demonstrated the powerful impact that music and movement has on a child’s intellectual, social and personal development. She also led the entire auditorium in enjoyable music and movement activities, which ended with an impressive human orchestra formation of rhythmical sounds, with the full participation of everyone in the auditorium!
During the panel discussion chaired by Dr Sin Joo Ee, a multitude of questions were raised by the participants. Nevertheless, remuneration and rewards seemed to be the bugbear for the majority of early childhood practitioners in the audience. In response, all four experts urged the participants to continue to hone - their skills and sustain their passion in serving children and families. Prof Hong particularly emphasised that it is through improvements across the whole sector - from policy making, to accreditation, and professional upgrading - that overall employment conditions of early childhood educators can be improved.
The inaugural Singapore Early Childhood Education Symposium was co-organised by the Centre for Chinese Studies (CCS@SUSS), and the Early Childhood Chinese programme of the School of Human Development and Social Services (HDSS) at SUSS, with the generous sponsorship of the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA).
多元化的学前教育 – 转变与更新
以“多元化的学前教育 – 转变与更新” 为主题的第一届新加坡学前教育论坛于9月9日新跃社科大学举行。约300名学前教育领域的老师和工作者齐集一堂，出席了由新加坡教育部兼贸工部高级政务次长刘燕玲女士为主宾的全日活动。主办单位也很荣幸邀请到四位来自北京、上海、马来西亚和台湾的资深学前教育工作和研究者，同大家分享他们的经验和心得。
在经过上午两位演讲嘉宾对学前教育领域的宏观分析，以及对政策和标准制定的探讨后，下午两位演讲嘉宾带领着老师们进入了更加具体的课程大纲的制定和方案的操作和实施中。马来西亚学前教育委员会前副主席，全国幼稚园教师公会顾问谢永坤先生讲述了“素质学前教育的实践与思考”，谢先生以创意教学和课程发展为主题进行阐述，引起了不少与会者的兴趣和提问。接着，台湾弘光科技大学讲师廖瑞琳老师以“幼儿美感经验与多元创意 – 幼儿音乐活动探究” 的主题，在欢快且全众参与的音乐合拍声中结束了当天四场精彩纷呈且内容丰富的讲座。